The Segway-Esperanto connection
Today I read in the Austin paper the following quote by James Norrod, the CEO of the company that makes the Segway, the two-wheeled personal transport:
"Market development happnes as a function of finding one market that works really well and building your business from here."
This is precisely the strategy expressed in "Crossing the Chasm", and is now pretty much now convenetional wisdom in marketing theory.
This is why I think the Esperanto market needs to try to focus ona single subculture and try to make great inroads into that subculture.
The Segway and Esperanto have a lot in common. Both:
1) were invented by geniuses operating more or less alone,
2) have been oversold and accused of being oversold,
3) have not lived up to the hopes people initially had for them,
4) have been so successful that they are here to stay,
5) are attacked by people who exagerate there purpose, imagining either that they replace walking or all national languages.
Moreover, both are examples of the "Net Effect". Their value to each individual depends strongly on the number of people who use them. In the case of Esperanto, it is clear that the more people speak it, the more valuable it is to each speaker. In the case of the Segway, each purchase both makes it more acceptable and in the long term leads to a lower price through more mass production.
The Segway is hoping to establish itself in the market of law enforcement, where it has a significant advantages: it can go inside and outside easily, it can go on elevators, and it allows the office to see above a crowd by elevating an extra head above pedestrians, and finally at 12.5 mph it lets them cover a greater distance than they can on foot, while still going inside where bicycles are unwelcome.
What is the best market for Esperanto to focus on?